Formal Brexit talks are due to resume in Brussels later, with British negotiators urging the EU to show “flexibility and imagination”.
Brexit Secretary David Davis wants to broaden discussions to include trade.
But the EU says there has to be progress on the issues of citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the “divorce bill” before talks can widen.
Both sides have said there is no real prospect of a breakthrough in this third round of talks. The EU has accused the UK side of “magical thinking” on the issue of the Irish border.
And the UK has said the Europeans are “massively over-egging” their financial demands.
Davis is expected to say that the UK’s firm goal remains to secure a “mutually beneficial” agreement, that works for people and businesses across Europe.
He will say this week’s “technical talks” will build on the July round and the papers the UK has recently published on its vision for its withdrawal from the EU.
The European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Twitter last week that the focus of the third round of negotiations would be “orderly withdrawal”.